Antibiotic Use In Livestock
The concern over antibiotic use in farm animals has reached a fevered pitch and earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration asked pharmaceutical makers to voluntarily change the labels on their antibiotics. The FDA hopes this voluntary labeling policy will reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock. But many consumer advocates and other critics of the measure say that it is too little too late and that it will do very little to really decrease what they perceive as the over-use of antibiotics in livestock. On the other side of the argument some health and economic experts are proposing an alternative way to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock in the form of a high use-fee; likening it to the royalties paid by the logging industry and big oil. The fact remains that most of antibiotics used on farms are for helping sick animals, not for padding a farmer’s pocket. The report that 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. is given to livestock shouldn’t come as such a surprise when considering that there are far more farm animals in the nation than there are people. That’s why many veterinarians are concerned that blanket antibiotic bashing and possible banning will do more harm than good for their patients.